Hawaii local attractions

On call!!! Pohoiki for the afternoon!

It was such a pleasant surprise to be put on call this morning.   Everyone still got up early though and we chilled for an hour or so then made a batch of musubi for lunches.  Our landlord came by just as we were getting ready to head to the soup kitchen and let us know that they would be showing the house in two hours so we madly rushed around and straitened everything up before we left.  We got to the soup kitchen a little late, then worked on a few things that needed to be done for set up and soon it was lunch.  Isabel was going to meet us at the church after lunch.  We then drove home and got our swimming suits just hanging out at the house until two.       With my on call shift ending at 3pm and it taking me an hour to get there we with the phone still turned on headed towards the beach to Isaac Hale and Pohoiki warm springs.   The kids played for several hours then we tried out the hot pool before heading home.                 Caleb jumping in.    And Hannah jumping in!     The dog below would find floating coconuts and would husk it with its teeth like a play toy, such a perfect dog to have here in Hawaii!  Husking the coconut is the hardest job, breaking it open after that is easy.         A little path through the trees to the warm pool!    Caleb was braking into this coconut for us, he gave up after a short while.     On the way home from the soup kitchen Chad asked the kids if they had fun with Isabel and it was a unanimous yell, “YES,” from the back seat followed by, “we have to go there again!” Thanks for the fun day Isabel.  

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Detour Ahead!

We were headed to a beach up by Waikaloa u till we saw a beautiful lagoon north of Kona and just had to try to figure out how to get there!

We always have to stop at the rest stop going over saddle  mountain between the two biggest volcanoes on the island Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, this time we found this cute bird’s nest on the ground!   

  This above GPS screen shot shows where we were on 19 when we saw the Lagoon and stopped! We backed tracked a short ways and found  Kīholo State Park, we parked our car and then headed down the peach toward the lagoon. 





We hadn’t made it too far down the beach when we discovered a fresh spring of cold water filling this lava tube!   I ran back to the car to get the suits we had forgotten in the car and we dashed to find a good tree to change behind!  A man there had a water proof flash light and after receiving permission we followed them into the cave a ways.  We didn’t take the camera with us (phone).  It’s not so water proof.  













  After we were thoroughly cooked off we hiked back up the beach toward the lagoon.  We found this little guy taking a nap.  He blinked at us a few times but otherwise didn’t seem too bothered. 





  The lagoon.  Like a big shallow warm lake with tons of sea turtles and one big blow fish. We didn’t bring our snorkle gear but this would have been a good place for it.  

  This awesome beach house would be a dream come true every single one of those Palm trees was loaded with coconuts, it was not too big, and right on the lagoon.

  But we would settle for this place, just the skeleton of a previous small beach house. 



  We didn’t stay too long because we were on the other side of the island and it was getting late.  With an early work morning coming for the next day. 



  Chad managed to completely just a coconut he found. 




 We had to take another dip in the cool water on our way back, this time we had it to ourselves.  So so fun! 


 Chad broke open his coconut on a rock and we each took a drink, it was the best coconut we have had in a while!



  We found an awesome burger place in Waimea called Village Burger, they had GF buns and Wasabi mayo dipping sauce for the fries that was fabulous! 



   Ok, this better not be the last time we have this, we will have to learn how to make this sauce at home.   
Such a fun day! One of our bests! Now for a good night sleep and some cute Hawaiian babies in the morning. 

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Akaka Falls and Waipi’o Valley

Again with no plan and not wanting to waste my last day off this week we headed out to explore more of the Hamakua Coast.  Well we took a detour and checked out a few more beaches in Hilo.  It was raining and not really a good hang at the beach day.  Then we headed up to Akaka Falls.   

              Kahuna Falls was faint and very hard to see through the rainforest mist.  

 Akaka Falls is a bit mightier so you can see it but still not very well.  Good thing the lucious green walk was so beautiful.   

      We used our umbrella from Great Grandma Lawhead for the first time not that it was raining any more than any other time.  It just sounded like a good idea.  







 We revisited the location of the Laupahoehoe school that was taken out by a tsunami during   School hours.  

          We visited several other beach parks along the coast.  When we had stopped for malasadas  at Tex Drive-in last week Chad had noticed the burgers, we headed back to do a taste test this time.   

  The kids opted to buy malasadas for dessert with their own money.  They must be good.  Then on to the Waipi’o Valley… We have been so close several times and some how missed it, not this time.  

                 Waipi’o is the valley of the Kings once filled with people now only about 100 people live there. You have to have 4 wheel drive to get down there. We didn’t hike it today but now we have at least seen it.  

  Then we checked out the shops in Honokaa.  We should be home before sun down.  Now the work week can start.   

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Natural Energy Lab tidepools

With no real plan and only one main objective today turned out perfect.  The goal was to get out of the house and do something we have not yet done.  We had driven by the Natural Energy Lab tidepools before on a really hot day in the middle of the afternoon when we were looking for waves and it didn’t really fit the bill.  Today we got out early so a quiet place where the kids could explore sounded best so we set our GPS.  As we pulled onto the road with the tidepools we noticed a seahorse farm sign….hmm that looks fun.  We checked it out, bummer, it was only open Monday-Friday we will have to come back.  

Chad must have picked the best parking lot there.  We were right in front of a good sized pond fed by the spray of the waves hitting the rocks that formed the pools edge.  

   The kids got their swim suits on and we started exploring!  

   Look at the salt in the rocks where the sun’s heat has evaporated the water and only left salt.  

     I hope the kids don’t get sick, they tasted the salt.  We found lots of shells too.  It was also fun to watch the black crabs skuttle around on the rocks.  

                        A close look at the sand and you can see dozens of tiny shells! 


The kids entertained themselves for quite a wile jumping off the rocks into this little pool. 

     Eve thinks she is showing you her finds, but she is showing you her awesome pair is shoes.   She keeps leaving her shoes places like the bathroom at the beach or the play ground and when it is time to go and she looks for them they have dissapeared.  So today she had no shoes left to wear even though Chad has bought her two pairs of flip flops this week.  So she has found two flip flops in the tide pools. One my size one is her size. 

  We loved the bottle top art work showing the islands at Ultimate Burger.  And this Lehua flower was or table decoration.    Hannah is trying to lick ice cream off her nose.                 Tables in the shape of the islands at this park on the way home.  The kids played in the rain at Punalu’u beach a busy but fun day!

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Kae’au Transfer Station (dump)

When I was a kid we did not have garbage services no big fancy truck came by the house and emptied our cans and carried away the waste.  We had burn barrels for some of the trash, yard debris was composted and or fed to the animals, and occasionally some of the bigger things had to be taken to the dump.  It cost money to take things to the dump and is kids would occasionally come home with new treasures we had found there.  As an adult I have become accustomed to garbage services.  It is quite nice to have our refuse picked up curb side weekly and our recycle too.  Here in Hawaii (on the big island in our neighborhood at least) there is no garbage services.  When our landlord first told us that we would have to take our own garbage to the dump I was thinking that it sure could add up quick but was pleasantly surprised when we descovered that it was free.  (Still I am not a fan of putting full trash bags in the trunk of the car to drive the distance to the dump…..stinky….and if a bag should rip or break 🙊)  Once a week or so we have a couple of bags that need to be taken to the dump.  They have paper bins, glass bins, newspaper, plastic, and any items that may be useful to another person are sorted and often times free or for a small price are available to be reused.  


      Last Tuesday Hannah got this leather purse for $1 and has since washed it well and takes it everywhere it has replaced the one she got for Christmas that has already had its strap broken off.  Caleb got a nice name brand one strap backpack for $2 (the only pic I have of it below) everything else they have found has been free (wallets and books).   



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Kilauea Erupting

I really didn’t think we would get to see actual lava in our time here.  Yes we had been to the volcano and observed the glow from the caldera at night, that was way cool, but we couldn’t say that we saw the actual lava.  For the last two days people have been saying the magma chamber is full and it is visible at the top! Could it really be true!?! We rested at the house and read until 3:00pm when we made our way to the volcano.  You have to go early in the day to get a parking spot at the overlook.  In broad daylight you could see streams of orange lava bubble up.  If you could see it mid day it was going to be good come night. To keep the kids entertained until then was going to be the trick. We opted for the 0.5 mile hike to check out the campground.   

              It ended up being the perfect choice!!!! So so beautiful and relaxing as it was a short distance and we were out to waste time.  






 By the time we got back we only had an hour and a half to wait.  The kids and I read books in the bookstore until 7:00pm when it was finally dark.  These guys are good at volcanos but maybe not so good at math.  It should say 32 years according to their dates I only noticed because it is near my birthdate and year. (I’m getting old)

              I could have sat with a blanket on the rock wall for many more hours.  Simply mesmerizing! Better than fireworks and that says a lot because they are one of my favorite things ever.  This will probably be the only time in our whole lives that we will see molten lava a few football fields away from us. We have been so blessed to experience this.  God’s amazing creation is so awe inspiring.

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Mauna Loa & Mauna Kea

It felt like an awefully late start this morning but in truth we just got up way too early!  After, laundry, breakfast, dishes, coffee, reading, and waiting for Caleb to get his school work done it was still only 9:30 AM when we left the house this morning.  We threw in the towels and boogie boards because we just never know what the day will entail and we have to leave room for some spontaneity (the suits and snorkles are always kept in the car besides for washing).  There was a few things on the to do list so really we just went eeny meeny (is that even how you spell that). It was raining pretty good in Hilo so we opted out of the activities in Hilo and headed for the mountains.  We had been asked if we had seen the Mauna Kea observatory yet and we hadn’t so we decided to do that.  One wrong turn and a 13 mile long one lane road took is to the Mauna Loa Observatory very cool.  I was so green at the gills as it was an amazing road with twists and turns, texture and no shoulders good thing on the way up at least we met no cars.  The altitude at the top was over 11,000 feet which was a huge change from sea level an hour before.  I don’t know what I have ever experienced altitude sickness, but I was a bit off balance and shakey and wasn’t sure if it was car sickness or altitude sickness.  In pulling Eve out of the car (because she has a gift for being the slowest being on the planet sometimes) I stepped off the ledge, a little one but still, and we both tumbled to the ground with only minor injuries.  

      It was a tad chilly and we were sad to be underprepared to hike at least a ways up the trail, but alas, there was no point in making the kids miserable because of my curiosity.  



 We loved the view, and the shiny glittery lava rocks.  Caleb showed us his big guns by picking up big rocks.  There is no density to them so although they are large they are not heavy.  









We hadn’t taken a family picture on an outing in a while so we took an oportunity to take on on top of Mauna Loa.  

  We broke into our lunch on the way down the mountain.   

 They may have all burst of we had gone up any higher! We then drove down to the highway and back up the adjacent road going to the Mauna Kea observatory.  

     There was a 15% grade ahead so needles to say we didn’t make it to the top of Mauna Kea.  The observatory was below this and so we turned around and went in there.  


The summit at 13,976 feet is only the measurement of what is above sea level, it continues below the sea quite a ways making its hight in its entirety the largest mountain in the world.  They do have summit tours on Saturdays and we want to go back sometime and do it.  With it being lunch time we had a long time to wait until the 6:00pm astronomy presentation.  We opted to drive down to Kona and check out the downtown and have dinner then come back.  We got some astronaut ice cream to try on the way.   


Kona was sunny and hot, there was a cruise ship in so there was plenty of oportunities for people watching.  

        Lunch was right on the water with a live band and totally hit the spot. 

     We will have to come back to this part of town and check out the shops.  This was the first ABC store we found. Probably the only one on the big island. 

We got back to Mauna Kea observatory just in time.   

    The presentation started at 6:00pm and by the time it was over at 7:00pm it was dark.  





 Now for looking in the Telescopes!!!!! 

      So totally awesome!!!!!!! We will have to go back again with our parkas on and the kids better rested.  Everyone talked about every detail of the day the whole way home.  


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The local pest.  Had been popping out of our woodwork one at a time and I have just not been quick enough to squish it before it skitters back into hiding.  We are not overly eager to share our home with these guys so today Chad sprayed for them in our problem area.  This guy was waiting for us when we got home this afternoon.  

 We are going to have to make a decontamination plan so we don’t take any of these buggers home with us.  Our plan right now is just keeping our bags and clothes off the floor.  I think that will be sufficient.

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Pana’ewa Zoo

it was my first time to the Rainforest Zion here in Hilo, the kids had gone before and were really excited to show me all of the animals.  I have to say I enjoyed the veggitation as much or more than the animals.  I did love the anteater.  I don’t think I had ever seen one before.  


A cow print frog!!! Just my style!  




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Merrie Monarch 2015

Merrie Monarch is a yearly Hula competition held in Hilo.  There are craft fairs during the day, a parade the the dancing in the evening Wednesday-Saturday.  A lot of the dances and chants are traditional dances memorized and performed as a way of passing on the story of Hawaiian history and legend.  It is very interesting to watch and see all the floral and feather fashion and the different dance moves.  It is televised so we attended the craft show but watched the rest on television.  We were advised that it is better seen on TV because when you attend the actual event you are so far away it is hard to see.  That and the tickets were already sold out so our only chance was to stand in line all day on the free day, Wednesday, it hopes to get decent seats. Hannah told us that next time we should just stand in line because it would have been good to have the experience even if the seats were bad.  I’m with her and kind of regret not doing it, but I didn’t have a bad headache on Wednesday so it would have been rough…..hind sight is 20X20.

We tried normal lu’au tyep food, the kids weren’t a big fan of poi, but they did like the salted salmon, kalua pork, and coconut with sweet potatoes.  They liked the long transparent, mung bean looking, rice noodles too.  We didn’t buy anything but it was very fun to look at the hand made items and people watch.

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